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State achieves solar milestone

State achieves solar milestone

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Three gigawatts of solar have been installed statewide, enough to power more than half a million homes, New York state officials said this week.

Since the launch of the NY-Sun initiative in 2011, solar has grown 2,100 percent statewide and declined in cost by 69% while fostering roughly 12,000 jobs statewide. When combined with the projects that are under development, the new milestone represents 95% of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal to install six gigawatts of solar by 2025, as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“Solar energy is a key component in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy as we work to reduce harmful emissions across the board and address the dual challenges of fighting climate change and rebuilding stronger post-pandemic,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The success of NY-Sun demonstrates we are on track to meeting our nation-leading energy goals while stimulating green job growth and economic recovery in communities across the state as part of our comprehensive plan to reimagine New York following the pandemic.”

In 2020, New York ranked first in the nation in community solar installations and second for total installations. Last year was also the state’s most productive year for solar installations, with 549 megawatts of capacity installed, the majority of which was supported by NY-Sun incentives. New York’s policies have ensured solar reaches every county in the state with Long Island, Mid-Hudson, and the Capital Region with the most installed solar, officials noted.

“As someone who grew up near Lake Erie and saw first-hand the harmful effects caused by emissions from the local steel plant, creating a cleaner, greener future has always been a personal fight for me,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “By reaching the historic milestone of three gigawatts of solar installed in New York, we can now power more than a half-million homes with clean energy, while also creating good jobs and attracting further investment in our State’s green energy economy.”

In addition to the three gigawatts of distributed solar installed statewide, there are an additional 2.7 gigawatts of solar that have been awarded NY-Sun incentives and are now under development across the state. The projects are expected to come online in the next two years with enough capacity to power an additional 477,000 homes.

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